Turkish Roast Eggplant with Bulgur Pilaf

Posted in support of Meatless Monday..

Bulgur is an ancient cereal, usually made from durum wheat. Common in Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes, nutty-tasting whole grain bulgur is more nutritious than rice or couscous.  Overnight soaking helps to break down the phytic acid, making it more easily digested..

Roasted Eggplant and Bulgur Pilaf

Roasted Eggplant and Bulgur Pilaf

Soak medium-grain bulgur overnight in filtered water.

Split eggplant in half lengthwise through the stem and soak in cold, filtered salt water for at least 30 minutes to reduce the bitter taste.  Drain, scoop out and chop the insides and set aside.

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 1 cup soaked and drained bulgur. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy pan over medium heat.

Sauté half a chopped onion until lightly browned, then add 1 teaspoon each tomato paste and red pepper paste and cook several minutes until the oil separates.

Add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, the reserved chopped insides of the eggplant, 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint. Stir to combine.

Add bulgur and stir to combine.

Lightly coat eggplant halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Fill eggplant with bulgur mixture and roast at 350 degrees until eggplant is tender, about 25 minutes.

Garnish with diced raw tomatoes, mint and scallions.

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